Nursing home rape charge goes to grand jury

SANDUSKY The fate of John R. Riems now rests with an Erie County grand jury. Riems sa
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



The fate of John R. Riems now rests with an Erie County grand jury.

Riems sat silent and expressionless in the courtroom Thursday as two detectives described in detail the sexual crimes Riems is accused of committing against a blind and partially paralyzed nursing home resident.

Riems, 49, was arrested on felony charges of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Although police said Riems confessed he'd sexually abused more than 100 patients during his 22-year career as a nurse, he had nothing to say at his preliminary hearing.

Perkins Detective Sgt. Alan Jenkins and Sheriff's Deputy Jared Oliver both took the stand for the prosecution.

According to both officers' testimonies, Riems confessed to inappropriately touching the partially paralyzed man, for Riems' own sexual gratification, while working as a nurse at Concord Care and Rehabilitation Center in Perkins Township.

Both detectives described Riems' confession in detail, saying Riems admitted he'd used the duties of his job as opportunities to violate and abuse patients. In this particular case, Riems allegedly molested the paralyzed man while adjusting a catheter and feeding tube.

"(Riems) told me ... he stopped when he saw the victim shaking his head 'no'," Oliver said from the witness stand.

Oliver said Riems also apologized for his actions during his confession.

After hearing the evidence, Sandusky Municipal Judge Erich O'Brien decided there was probable cause, so the case of Ohio vs. John Riems will go before the grand jury.

Linda Monegan, who reported the abuse of her loved one, was supported by the arms of companions as she exited the courtroom. Visibly distraught at what she'd heard, Monegan had no comment.

Troy Wisehart, Riems' attorney, said all of the media attention is creating an atmosphere of hysteria that could affect the case.

"We're worried it's going to deny my client his right to a fair trial," Wisehart said.

Wisehart said he will look into whether his client's Miranda rights were violated by police during the initial interviews.

He said they are "absolutely" looking to suppress the confession Riems allegedly made to police.

"I haven't even heard his confession. I don't know that he's confessed as of this time," Wisehart said.

Wisehart said he had no comment on behalf of Riems, except that they hope people will wait for all of the evidence to come out before making a judgment.

Riems is still being held on $100,000 bond at the Erie County jail. His attorney filed a motion to allow him to appear in court in plain clothes.